We’ve all been guilty of having eyes larger than our stomachs. Whether you’re prone to overeating on occasion or just a fast eater, that feeling that follows is not a comfortable one. I like to follow up a meal with one of these crisp cucumber spritzers infused with fennel, peppermint and lemon to aid digestion. Serves 4.

This recipe is from Reece’s book, The Happy Gut.


What You’ll Need

For the fennel syrup

3 tablespoons fennel seeds

1/2 cup rice malt syrup

1 cup (250ml) water


For the spritzers

ice cubes, to fill glasses

1 Lebanese cucumber

40–50 peppermint leaves

Lightly sparkling mineral water, to cover

Squeeze of lemon juice



1 Coarsely grind the fennel seeds in a spice grinder, then tip into a small saucepan along with the rice malt syrup and water.

2 Bring to the boil over medium heat and stir for 5 minutes.

3 Turn off the heat and leave to sit for 20 minutes.

4 Strain through a sieve lined with cheesecloth and discard the solids. This syrup will last for up to a month in a sealed, labelled container in the fridge.

5 To make the spritzers, fill four short glasses with ice.

6 Use a vegetable peeler to cut the cucumber into ribbons and add 2 ribbons to each glass, along with 10–12 peppermint leaves.

7 Pour 2 tablespoons of fennel syrup into each glass.

8 Top up with the mineral water and add the lemon juice. Enjoy!

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